If you're heading to Laganas (which you should only do if you're young and want to party), then THIS is the place to stay. A few minutes from the main drag, but completely peaceful. No blaring music at the pool, simple but spacious rooms, fantastic bathrooms. The place is family run - they make you feel incredibly welcome (as long as you treat the hotel and the staff well). The food in the hotel was also great - almost didn't need to eat out at all! Highly recommended; a piece of paradise in a typical party destination.
Laganas Zakynthos PC: 29100, Greece
(+30) 26950 52419
There aren't that many nice campsites in the Champagne region (seems most visitors have a bigger budget than us!), but Campsite Sous le Clocher is a lovely peaceful spot by the river overlooking the town of Dormans. Just 5 minutes walk from the Boulangerie, lovely restaurants and a Saturday market in town.
D1 / rte de Vincelles, 51700 Dormans France
Google map: bit.ly/iqxVeG
A 16th Century hall which is seen as the birth place of Quakerism in the 17th century. The historic house can be visited, they offer B&B at very modest prices and there is a programme of Quaker events. A wonderful quiet place near to Ulverston and the southern Lakes which is of great significance to Quakers (Society of Friends)
Brackenborough Hall is a working 900-acre farm in the Lincolnshire Wolds. The old Coach House has been beautifully restored and made into three lovely apartments which are set in the middle of medieval parkland - and there's a herd of cows living in the park. It's perfect for families or groups: there's accommodation for up to 24 people. And the family that run the farm are very happy to show you round or let you help out. Lincolnshire is a beautiful place and the food - including local plum bread - is amazing, too.
A wonderful farm holiday for families with young children in the most beautiful location. Feed the animals every morning with Farmer Tim; ride on the gentle ponies; splash around in the indoor pool; relax with that day's papers and enjoy fresh coffee in the indoor play barn. The cottages are a comfortable home from home with little extras provided including black-out blinds, bed guards and cots. The perfect break!
Hotel with superb dining, built approx. 15th Century, it has a central position on the high street with ample parking. Makes an excellent base for touring the Cotswolds and the special deal for dinner and B&B is well worth while.
Naxos has everything. A headland marked by a temple ruin greets you as your ferry arrives.(There is also a small airport.) The harbour lies directly below the Old Town (Kastro), a maze of narrow alleyways on a steep hill and, at its foot, the new town (Chora) with plenty of shops and tavernas and a lovely sandy beach just beyond.
No need to hire a car; the island can be explored by bus and on foot to reach various small archaeological sites. For a whole island of antiquity take the day trip to Delos (with Mykonos thrown in).
The able-bodied should stay in one of the small hotels such as Anixis in the picturesque Old Town: plenty of steps but no traffic, not even bicycles!
Small but perfectly formed idyllic cottage, tucked away down a private lane on a small working organic farm, amidst the Somerset levels. The owners Jane and Simon are warm hosts who will provide home cooked meals if you have had a long journey. With a wealth of local knowledge this is an excellent base for cycling and walking as the cottage is just off the Parrett trail, close to the quirky town of Langport. Ideally situated for birdwatching on the levels, the cottage is great for both relaxing holidays wandering the farm and trying the myriad of produce they grow or exploring further afield as there are many National Trust properties within 30 minutes. Book during the last two weeks of September to visit Somerset Art Weeks when over 200 artists have their studios open to the public, Its fantastic!
Park lane, Langport, Somerset, TA10 0NF
Google map: bit.ly/eOJPEh
Taunton, Yeovil Penn Mill and Yeovil Junction are nearest train stations.
Yeovil - Taunton Bus 54 stops at end of private lane
Set in the rolling Devonshire hills on the edge of Exmoor, North Hayne Farm is the perfect place for a family to unwind. The cottages are beautifully converted farm buildings set around a pretty communal courtyard. A cream tea is laid out in your cottage awaiting your arrival and a hot tub, on your individual patio, is ready to go as soon as you've unpacked your cossie. Children and adults alike are able to feed the farm animals morning and night, and if you're lucky you might find an egg. Children are rewarded for their hard work by donkey rides everyday and a certificate and photo at the end of their stay(which always comes far to quickly).
The Granary, Rowton Grange, is ideal for a comfortable self-catering break – my partner and I have stayed there both for weekends and for a couple of weeks. Every window looks out on the beautiful wooded hills of south Shropshire, and the Granary and its garden are a great place to relax.
The Granary was where I first came across an Indian Runner, a duck that’s a very different shape from my idea of a duck. I named it Edwin, but it turned out I was wrong – apparently only female ducks lay eggs, and so does Edwin, so it should be Edwina! As a townie, I found the sight of a minutes-old calf quite a shock (and was relieved I hadn’t been required to help with the birth). And I also learned that pigs aren’t always pink: the Saddlebacks have their own colouring and personality. There are also several horses, and arable farming – though I still can’t tell my wheat from my barley.
The owners – a farmer, a vet and their four children – are brilliant at making guests feel welcome. They’re all friendly and good company, without being pushy. The visitors’ book shows that our enthusiasm is shared by many, and the same guests’ names appear time after time – we’re clearly not the only ones to find the Granary worth several visits.
Tesorito is an oasis in a busy city. It only has two guest rooms, so you need to book in advance. Besides their own room, guests have the use of a living room, dining room and leafy patio, all painted in bright colors and decorated with exquisite taste by the hostess. Breakfast is absolutely delicious and served with freshly squeezed orange juice every day. Tired of TV? Turn on the stereo, there is a large variety of CDs. The young host (fluent in four languages) and young hostess are both discreet and welcoming. The location is great, a block away from Santa Fe Street, where you will find a subway station and the 152 bus than crosses the city. Santa Fe is also a great shopping street, and boasts a bookstore that has been rated the second most amazing bookstore in the world. Only problem is the lack of good restaurants nearby. But, no worry, for only $5.00, you can take a taxi to Palermo Viejo, where good restaurants abound, and where an evening stroll is wonderful.
This ship was built in 1955 in the Viana shipyard and for many years served as a hospital ship to Portuguese fishermen on the cod banks Newfoundland. But in 1984 it was taken out of service and spent several years languishing in Lisbon harbour. In 1997 it was sold for scrap, but fortunately she was rescued in 1998 by the community of Viana and is now moored in the town's harbour, the property of the Gil Eannes Foundation. Repair work is ongoing but it is already open to the public for a very reasonable sum - a fascinating part of Portugal's maritime past. There is also a youth hostel in part of the hull.
Luxury but extremely affordable B&B - four ladies travelling together had two very well appointed and comfortable bedrooms made up as twins - own bathroom and sitting room and extremely welcome hosts Pete and Gaye. Pete keeps some sheep and we had our own shearing session. One of us left camera behind which Gaye kindly left at our motel in Christchurch where we were heading a week later. Excellent breakfast and will do supper too.
45 Mairaki Road, Fernside, Rangiora 7471, New Zealand
+64 3-313 5180
Google map: bit.ly/f5nXde
A small hotel on the waterfront in the Geres National Park. The hotel serves the best Portuguese food. The owners are fluent in English. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Within walking distance is the lagoon with a wide variety of watersports or just sit on your balcony and take in the fresh pine air!
This is a great shabby chic hotel in downtown Manhattan that offers comfortable accommodation at a price you're unlikely to be able to beat in New York.
Woody Allen used the hotel in his film Manhattan Murder Mystery and the hotel claims that Madonna has stayed there at some point, though I have no idea if this latter fact is true or, indeed, if anyone could care less.
There are shared bathrooms on every floor and these are cleaned regularly and always in a decent state. The rooms, depending on size, have a wash basin and a TV.
Very comfortable all round and, although a fair way out of the centre of New York, the hotel is very close to the Union Square/14th Street subway station, which is the intersection of a number of subway lines, effectively making it very easy to reach anywhere in the city.
Dar Darma is a nice riad in the Medina that we discovered surfing on the net. It's a great place to stay with comfortable rooms and the staff are very kind. It is very near to the Museum of Marrakech and also the famous square is not very far from there. The cuisine too is very good.
+39 02 66 99 27 204
I spent two nights at the Siam Classic in Bangkok and couldn’t find fault with this stylish hostel. Handily, it’s located at Hua Lamphong (one end of the metro line), just five minutes from Bangkok Central Station and also on the edge of the old town.
For 4,500 Thai baht (about £9) I had a cosy, clean and sweet-smelling single room with free Wifi and a simple breakfast (egg and toast) in the morning. The shared showers were strong and hot and there was a lovely roof terrace - perfect for chilling out away from the city noise. There are also banks opposite and a launderette just round the corner.
I went on the recommendation of a friend who’d formed such a bond with the owners that they’d let him store some of his luggage while he went away for a month. While I’m obviously not guaranteeing they’ll provide this service for all their guests, hopefully this indicates what nice folk the guys at the Siam Classic are.
This is an amazing private villa to rent in the countryside just 20 mins from the centre of Marrakech.
Myself and my husband plus four friends shared it for a week and had an amazing time. The house is really spacious with lush gardens and a pool, so we all had enough private space, but delicious communal meals cooked for us by the amazing house-keeper. All we had to do was hop on the free shuttle which dropped us to the supermarket to stock up on ingredients.
We were lucky to have great weather so didn't really leave the side of the pool much.
A couple of trips to the Medina satisfied our retail needs and we had some nice lunches and dinner in town (would recommend Cafe De La Poste in the new part of town, and Terrace Des Epices in the Souks)
+44 (0)20 8940 9493
This is a hotel that immediately becomes a home away from home.
It is not on the beach and is not a resort hotel. However, if you are looking for something that is smaller and more personal you can do no better than here.
The rooms are beautiful and very comfortable, coffee and water were provided and breakfast is included in the price. Breakfast was served each morning under shelter and consisted of a fruit plate, coffee/tea, homemade smoothie or juice and a savoury or sweet dish (pancakes, breakfast burritos etc) depending on the day of the week.
It is away from the beach but is easily walkable and the managers and their families were some of the friendliest most hospitable people I've encountered travelling. They would assist and arrange with whatever we needed.
I would have no hesitation in going back to The Bungalows were I to return to Cabo San Lucas.
Vouniotis Pension is a charming family run hotel located in Mykonos town located close to the area little Venice.
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